West Group’s Instructional Aids Series Cost-Effective Online Research
Contents • Introduction to Cost-Effective Online Research • Choosing the Best Pricing Option • Formulating a Cost-Effective Search • Choosing the Most Cost- Effective Database • Choosing the Best Pricing Option for Printing • Other Cost-Effective Services
Introduction • With the Westlaw® access that you enjoy as a student, you may not be accustomed to thinking about the efficiency of your online research. • In the real world, whether you are a new associate, a sole practitioner, or other legal professional, cost-effective research is a necessary skill. • There are many ways to save money and time when searching on Westlaw and still getting the results you need. Saving time is saving money.
Introduction The best advice we can give you! Call a Westlaw® Reference Attorneybefore signing on to Westlaw if you are not completely sure of • the steps you must take to retrieve the needed document(s) • the database(s) most likely to contain the documents or information you need • the database(s) that will be most cost-effective • the most effective way to structure a search • the printing option to choose • the billing method to choose 1-800-850-WEST
Introduction Know the Terms of Your Firm’s Contract with Westlaw • WestlawPRO® plans are available to small firms, government agencies, and state trial courts. • There is a flat monthly rate for databases within the plan. • Jurisdictional • Topical • Analytical • News • Searching outside the WestlawPro Plan databases incurs regular hourly or transactional pricing. • You will see a warning screen when attempting to access a database outside your employer’s WestlawPro plan.
Introduction There are also • Customized flat rate plans • a flat-rate payment each month for access to Westlaw • some databases are excluded • some plans have upper limits on usage • Traditional Subscription Plans • pay standard transaction or hourly rate • unlimited access to databases Ask the organization’s librarian or administrator about the terms of your organization’s plan.
Introduction Use Print Resources to Supplement Online Research • Use your library’s print resources to help you refine your issue(s) and determine which type of document (e.g., case, statute, or law review article) you need before going online. • After running a search and retrieving relevant documents online, print the citations list and read the documents offline in books.
Introduction Use Find • Use Find to retrieve a document when you know its citation. • $5.50 for cases, statutes or news • Find saves time and money because you don’t have to access the database and then formulate a search. • Simply access Find and type the document’s citation, e.g., 404 nw2d 606. Find Find
Introduction Find Template ca st • If you don’t know the correct citation format, access Find and type the publication’s abbreviation, e.g., ca st, to display a fill-in-the-blank template.
Choosing the Best Pricing1 Option Transactional Pricing vs. Hourly Pricing 1Prices as of 1/15/2004 Contents
Pricing Options Choosing Transactional or Hourly Pricing More Location& Pricing Options Billing Methods • Choose Options from the More drop-down list on the toolbar. • Click Location & Pricing in the left frame. • Select your choice of billing methods. • Sign off then back on Westlaw for the change to take effect. • Choose Ask at Sign On if your pricing choice will change often.
Pricing Options Transactional Pricing • With transactional pricing you incur a charge for each transaction that you complete. • Transactions include • running a search in a database • retrieving a document using find • retrieving a document using a hypertext link • using KeyCite® • The following are free when you use transactional billing • Locate requests • Documents in Sequence
Pricing Options • A Find request is $5.50. • Each KeyCite transaction is $4.25. • Transaction costs for searches vary by database. For example, in the Minnesota Cases database (MN-CS), a search is $44. • Usetransactional pricing if you • plan to run only one or two searches, Find commands or KeyCite research • will spend time reading documents online • want to spend more than a minute or two in • SUBSCRIBER or IDEN databases • the Westlaw Directory • the Options Directory • Scope
Pricing Options Advantages of Transactional Pricing • Predictable • Browse search results online for as long as you like • Multitask without worrying about time spent online; for example, you can switch between word-processing documents and Westlaw, copying and pasting as needed • Some services and databases are free in transactional pricing: • SUBSCRIBER and IDEN databases • the Westlaw Directory and Options Directory • Scope • Locate in Results • Documents in Sequence
Pricing Options Hourly Pricing • With hourly pricing you are charged by how much time you spend searching or browsing a database. • Pricing includes • database charges, which depend on the database and your Westlaw subscription plan. Most databases fall within the $15 to $75 a minute range. • connect time charges • communication charges
Pricing Options Hourly Pricing • Use hourly pricing when you plan to • run multiple searches • check a number of citations in KeyCite • retrieve many documents using Find • spend only a short time on Westlaw • run your search in multiple databases.
Formulating a Cost-Effective Search Contents
Formulating Searches Search Preparation Fully plan your search on paper before signing on to Westlaw. • Articulate your issue, using concise legal terminology. • Choose key terms. • Add reasonable alternative terms for your key terms. • If you are using the Terms and Connectors search method, select appropriate connectors. liability of car manufacturer for defective tires liability car defective tire vehicle dangerous automobile liab! /p car automobile vehicle /p danger! defect! /s tire
Formulating Searches Choosing the Search Method • Decide whether Terms and Connectors or Natural Language searching will be more effective. • Use Natural Language when • you are searching for broad concepts • you are a new or infrequent user of Westlaw • your Terms and Connectors search is not retrieving the information you need
Formulating Searches Choosing the Query Method • Use Terms and Connectors when • you are searching for particular terms • you need to find all documents containing very specific information, such as all cases with a particular topic and key number or all articles that mention a specific company name • you need to search a database for which Natural Language searching is not available
Choosing a Database Choosing the Most Cost-Effective Database • Use the smallest database that contains the documents you need. ALL as part of a database identifier indicates a large database that contains more than one smaller database. (Both hourly and transactional rates are higher in the larger databases.) • Use Idaho Cases (UT-CS) database rather than All State Cases (ALLSTATES) if you need only Utah cases. • Use Environmental Law Reviews, Texts & Bar Journals (ENV-TP) database rather than All Texts & Periodicals (TP-ALL) if you need only environmental articles. • Use The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) rather than the All News (ALLNEWS) database if the article you need was published in the Wall Street Journal.
Choosing a Database Choosing the Appropriate Database • Use Scope to find out what materials or information a database covers and to get helpful search tips. • Under transactional pricing, there is no charge to view Scope information. The Scope icon in the Westlaw Directory and on the Search page of each database indicates that descriptive informationfor the database is available. Click the icon to view this information.
Choosing a Database Here are two pages of Scope information for the U.S. Court of Appeal Cases – Reported (CTAR) database.
Choosing a Database Choosing the Appropriate Database • Use the SUBSCRIBERdatabase to check the cost of searching in a database using hourly or transactional pricing. • You incur no hourly database or transactional charges when you use SUBSCRIBER. • Law students cannot run searches in the SUBSCRIBER database.
Choosing a Database This is the page in the SUSCRIBER database that shows the pricing for the Criminal Justice - Law Reviews, Texts, and Bar Journals (CJ-TP) database.
Choosing a Database Finding the Appropriate Database • If you don’t know which database(s) might be appropriate, use the Westlaw Directory. • Access the Westlaw Directory by clicking Directory on the toolbar. • Browse the Westlaw Directory by clicking the plus (+) or minus (-) symbol next to a section that interests you. • Click a blue hypertext link in the Westlaw Directory to access the Search page for that database. Directory
Choosing a Database Finding the Appropriate Database • You can also find the appropriate database by entering a description of the material of the database in the Search these databases text box on most tab pages in westlaw.com.® • A list of possible database names and their identifiers is displayed. • Check the database you need and click OK at the bottom of the screen. irs private letter rulings You incur no hourly database or transactional charge for browsing the Westlaw Directory or the Search these databases feature. irs rulings OK
Choosing the Best Pricing1 Option for Printing Per Line vs. Per Document 1Prices as of 4/15/2002 Contents
Printing Options Choosing the Best Pricing Option for Printing • You can pay for printing per-document or per-line. • Choose Options from the drop-down list on the toolbar, then choose Location & Pricing. • Then select your printing option. More Options Location & Pricing Print Billing Methods
Printing Options Choosing the Best Pricing Option for Printing • Per-line pricing is better for printing shorter (up to five pages) documents. • Cost: • 3¢ per line for most Westlaw databases • Up to 65¢ per line for a few selected databases.
Printing Options Per Line Pricing You can print a Result List and read the documents offline in book format which will reduce the number of lines you need to print and the time you need to spend online. Result List Print
You can print just the page(s) containing search terms or just the first page.
Printing Options Per Line Pricing • You can limit your document to specific fields and then print only those fields. • Click the Tools link in the lower right portion of the screen to limit by field. Limit Display by Field Tools
Printing Options Per-Document Pricing • Per-document print pricing charges you a flat printing rate per document transmitted offline, regardless of its length. • Each of the following print commands is considered a document when using per-document pricing: • a page • selected pages • a range of pages • a citations list • a list of selected documents • Costs $6.50 per document for most materials. • Costs up to $50 per document for a few selected databases.
Printing Options Save on Westlaw • Using the Save on Westlaw print option, you can store your print request for up to 30 days with no print charges in the Offline Print Directory. • At any time within the 30 days, you can access the Print/Delivery Manager under the More drop down list in the upper right corner of the screen, delete the print request or change the print request destination; and receive the results of your search at a printer, a fax machine, or an e-mail address. Print/Delivery Manager Save on Westlaw Print/Delivery Manager
Printing Options Print Some Information for Free There is no charge for printing information from the following services • KeyCite • Westlaw Directory • Scope • Westlaw Options Directory There is no charge for using the following commands while online • Print screen function • Internet Print command • Copy and paste
Other Cost-Effective Services Contents
Cost-Effective Services Cost-Effective Services • The WestFind&Print™ service is accessed from lawschool.westlaw.com or the westlaw.com sign on page. • You can enter citations and automatically print up to 99 documents at one time. • You can also check a list of cases in KeyCite. • The charge is $12 per document. Find&Print
Cost-Effective Services The Key Number System® • West’s Key Number System allow you to quickly find other cases that discuss the same legal issue as the case at hand. • A unique key number is assigned to every point of law. • Topic 17 is Adoption. Key number 4 under Adoption addresses persons who may adopt others. We will look for cases that have points of law assigned to 17k4. 17k4 Key Numbers & Digest 17k4
Cost-Effective Services The Key Number System • The key numbers are linked to every headnote in West’s National Reporter System® that discusses that point of law. • We have chosen Minnesota Cases (MN-CS) as our database. • We have created a Custom Digest of the eight headnotes from Minnesota cases that address the issue of who may adopt. Custom Digest MN
Cost-Effective Services Key Search in westlaw.com • West attorney-editors have created logical topics and subtopics that are arranged alphabetically • Links to popular subtopics are listed below each main topic for quick retrieval. Access KeySearch from the link on the toolbar.
Cost-Effective Services • After subfolders have been opened to the topic desired, a click on the folder icon accesses the search page. • Notice that your KeySearch path is displayed at the top of the page so it is easy to keep track of how you got to this subtopic. Path KeySearch has generated a query based on the Key Number System but the query also contains other terms so that unreported cases and secondary sources can also be retrieved.. You can choose to run your search in reported or unreported cases or in secondary sources.
Cost-Effective Services Use KeySearch when you: • are unfamiliar with an area of the law • are unfamiliar with the Key Number System • need to retrieve unreported cases or secondary-source documents as well as reported cases
Cost-Effective Services ResultsPlus Search ResultsPlus • Run a search in any case law database. • Not only will you retrieve relevant cases, you will also retrieve links to relevant ALR, Am. Jur. Proof of Facts, Am. Jur. Trials, and Am. Jur. 2d articles and West key numbers. • Several searches for the price of one! Case Results
Cost-Effective Services StatutesPlus Links for tab • The Links for tab, which is in the left frame when a statute is displayed in the right frame, contains the resources for expediting, expanding, and verifying your statutory research. • StatutesPlus saves money because it saves time.
Save time with westlaw.com’s convenient Links for tab that organizes the information and documents essential for thorough statutory research. • KeyCite flags with brief explanation • Citing References • Monitor with KeyCite Alert • Table of Contents • Section Outline • Notes of Decisions • Analysis (Secondary Sources) • Legislative History • Cross Referenced Statutes • Administrative Materials • West Key Numbers
Cost-Effective Services Other Cost-Effective Services • Locate in Results is a search within the results of a prior search. Under transactional billing there is no extra transactional fee for a locate search. • Documents in Sequence allows you to browse surrounding statutes, rules, or regulations without incurring an additional transactional fee. • Table of Contentsservice browsing in statutes or regulations incurs no transactional or hourly database charges. However, there is a $5.50 charge if you jump to a particular statute or regulation. TOC Locate Documents in Sequence
Cost-Effective Services • KeyCite lets youquickly trace the history of a case(s) through the appellate process and/or retrieve a list of cases and secondary sources that cite the case. • KeyCite Alert monitors and automatically delivers to you any change in the status of a case or statute. Cost depends on pricing plan. • WestClip®allows you to stay up-to-date on legal issues without spending unnecessary time online as results can be automatically be delivered to the destination of your choice. • WestCheck.com® automatically extracts citations from a word-processing document and runs them in KeyCite to determine whether they are good law and/or to retrieve a list of cases and secondary sources citing the document. • WestCiteLink™software automatically creates links to the documents on Westlaw for every citation in a word- processing document.